Combating dangerous youth concussions with proper training for coaching
Concussions have been a hot topic in sports in recent years. Though research had scratched the surface of the potential dangers of multiple concussions since the 1970s, the evidence is becoming more apparent every day, likely resulting from more time to assess the injury and more advanced technology. Those pursuing coaching degrees, especially those involved in contact and impact sports, will need substantial training in concussion prevention.
Studies have revealed that younger athletes are far more susceptible to concussions than older and professional individuals, while the lasting effects of the injury are far more prevalent in teen athletes, the Baltimore Sun reports. The source cites a National Center for Injury and Prevention study from 2006 that found that close to half of high school football players experience a concussion each year.
Much of the reason for this is likely because of the less developed physical features of high school players when compared to professionals, and the majority of U.S. states have created stringent laws pertaining to the injury, the news provider added.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, concussions can directly lead to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), a disorder that affects more than 1.5 million Americans each year. The lasting effects to the brain once sustaining TBIs are serious, including amnesia and long periods of unconsciousness. Repeated blows to the head associated with concussions and TBIs are very common in football.
Some states and local school districts are taking progressive steps toward combating this problem, The Sun reported. One such method was launched in Burtonsville, Maryland, when the local football league began asking parents with medical backgrounds to attend each game.
“We only know so much as a coaching staff on what to do with treatment and such, so we need [that] extra help on hand,” Coach Walter Moyer told the news provider. “The problem comes when the kid is a star kid and he has that desire to get back out there and a coach who may not be as well versed in the injury, and the coach tries to look out for the best interests of the team and the game instead of the kid.”
The awareness among coaches is certainly a good sign, as more high school, collegiate and professional level athletic administrators initiate more stringent coaching degree programs that involve concussion prevention, recognition and treatment stratagem.